Tag: ottawa senators

Ottawa Senators And Their Off-Season Plans

Over the next month or so I will be covering (or attempting) to cover every NHL team and their off-season plan. Day by day as the season continues on there will be a new team out of playoffs.

The Ottawa Senators are officially out of the place, we all knew they were toast about 3 months ago but they are now officially declared out. Therefore it is back to the drawing board once again for the Senators.

Before we get into the mess in Ottawa, we have to look at the positives and negatives they do have though.

Negatives: A LOT

The Ottawa Senators currently have an interim head coach. With the firing of Guy Boucher, they are the 7th club to fire a head coach this season. Therefore the Senators laundry list of issues carry on. Who do they go after, or better yet who would want to come to Ottawa? The NHL is infamous for recycling coaches so we can expect to see a familiar name in the position perhaps.

A huge thorn in Ottawa’s side is that they do not own their first round pick this season, in which their first round pick is looking to be the first overall pick. Who may be Jack Hughes a projected top-3 forward in the making. Ether way if it is not first overall it will be a top-3 by the way things are looking and that will go to Colorado.

Bobby Ryan’s contract at 7.25 million a year for another three-years after this one definitely hurts. Ryan may be a good veteran for the team but clearly the direction the Senators are moving they seem to not care about experience in the locker room. A waste of 21+ million is never ideal in a rebuild situation.

The Senators may be losing Cody Ceci and as well know they have already lost Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingel and Matt Duchene. Their three best players and the brightest spots on their roster. They have essentially an AHL team with 4-5 professionals and there roster does not look appealing to free-agents, rookies or fans for that matter.

Craig Anderson, sure the defense in front of him has not been great for the last two seasons but he is only getting older and worse it seems. And the Senators do not have anyone besides Andres Nilsson to really come in the goalie slot. Aside from the 20-year-old Filip Gustavsson, who is having a medicore year at best in the AHL and Marcus Hogberg, the Senators will need to trade for a goalie.

Senators management were in talks to receive a new facility in Ottawa downtown, that got put on hold and is now looks to be a slim chance they do receive one. The rink Ottawa plays at is 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa and 56 minutes by train. With the product they are putting on the ice, who would want to make that drive?

Positives: Young Defenseman & 2020 Draft

Thomas Chabot, Erik Brannstrom, Colin White, Brady Tkachuk, Chris Tierney, Alex Formenton, Logan Brown, Jonathan Davidsson, Maxime Lajoie, Rudolf Balcers. These are players on the Senators current roster or AHL roster that are realistically the only bright spot for the team at the moment and moving forward. Chabot + Brannstrom on the back end is exciting. Lajoie develops into a potential top-four defenseman you have a legitimate d-core now. Tkachuk is already showing he can be and will be a top-three forward in the NHL. Colin White is seeing regular minutes and when healthy and playing consistently has been a huge positive for this team.

Ottawa supposedly has the 13th ranked farm system in NHL (Aug 2018) rated by theathletic.com. That was rated in August 2018 and they received Brannstrom and other prospects so the Senators could be a potential top-10 farm system in the NHL which is a plus.

Aside from seven draft picks in 2019 the Senators do have a truck load in the 2020 draft as they currently have 12 picks. Seven of those 12 picks come in the first three rounds. Two in the 1st, three in the 2nd and two in the third.

Off-season plan: New coach, Free-Agents, New facility

Based on how the lottery works and where the Senators sit they could possibly not even have a first round pick this draft. The Senators do indeed get either the 1, 2, 3 overall pick the 1st round pick they got from Columbus will be a 2020 first round pick. Therefore, what is the Senators off-season plans?

  1. Sign Colin White. Lock him up to a good contract and keep him in Ottawa. Sign Anthony Duclair too, you have nothing to lose. He is young, and will cost nothing but will provide a good outlet for younger players too.
  2. Trade Cody Ceci, he is a 25-year-old defenseman who has registered 20+ points three times in his career. He has value and his better off on the block they coming back on 5 million dollar deal.
  3. Go after low-risk free agents. Players like Gustav Nyquist, Cam Talbot, Andre Burakovsky, Michael Del Zotto, William Karlsson, Derek Brassard. Guys who you can bring for 2-3 years to help mentor and teach these young kids until they are ready for the NHL.
  4. Start working on a new a facility for the 2020 season. The Senators will have 12 ( thirteen potentially) draft picks and 7 (eight potentially) in the first three rounds. Make sure you have something for those draft picks and next crop of talent coming into the organization to look forward too.
  5. Get a young coach, take your time hiring a coach and find a coach like the New York Rangers did with David Quinn. Get a coach who is great with young players, possibly another top NCAA coach who can come in be a new face for the young players on your team.
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Will A “Fresh” Start In Ottawa Help Anthony Duclair Find Consistent Time In The NHL?

Anthony Duclair was never a projected to be a top-talent in the NHL but he was expected to be better than he has currently panned out to be. Duclair was drafted in 2013, 3rd round 19th pick (80th overall) by the New York Rangers.

Duclair played 18 games in 2014-15 with the Rangers collecting 7 points, he was quickly sent to Arizona part of the Keith Yandle trade. With Arizona he played 172 games tallying 74 points (his longest tenure), then was sent to Chicago for Richard Panik. He played 23 games collecting 8 points. He was released by Chicago and quickly picked up by Columbus, playing 53 games for 19 points.

Now as we know he was sent to Ottawa in the Ryan Dzingel trade. Duclair will look for a fresh start in Ottawa as he begins to play with his fifth team in five years. His third team in two years.

John Tortorella has been very clear and up-front about Duclair’s struggles in Columbus. For a player that is 5″11 and 190+ lbs and has a very similar structure to his game like the Wild’s forward Jordan Greenway. Duclair has really struggled to stay consistent in the NHL. Duclair has the speed and size, he works hard in the offensive zone and works well along the boards but it seems from what Coach Tortorella said about Duclair is that he does not play both sides of the puck well nor is situationally aware and lacks the hockey IQ.

As John Tortella said four days ago about Duclair:

“I don’t think he knows how to play, I don’t,” Tortorella said. “It seems to me he’s like a player who feels he can get the puck because he’s tremendously skilled. He can skate. He has all those things you guys know. I just think he thinks he can go do whatever the hell he wants to do on the ice. You can’t do it in the National Hockey League.

“We have spent a lot of time trying to teach him, trying to teach him situational play, away from the puck. All the stuff we do with players. Sometimes, it looks like he is understanding. So to answer your question, I don’t know. I don’t know if he can’t comprehend it or if he’s just stubborn. But he is running out of time.”

Per The Athletic Tom Reed.

Will Ottawa be a good place for Duclair? Who knows, he grew up in Pointe-Claire Quebec so perhaps heading back “home” to Canada to play for a Canadian franchise could be good for Duclair. It worked for Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin but Duclair will not have much on his roster to help him really propel his game. Although with Ottawa basically a guaranteed first overall pick team right now and having not many to no super stars it may be good for Duclair. Duclair is only 23-years-old and has plenty of time to get an identity to his game and fix his weak areas but like Tortella said his time is definitely running slim.

 

Matt Duchene Is Headed To Columbus

As confirmed by multiple sources Matt Duchene is headed to Columbus for Jonathan Davidsson and Vitaly Abramov plus multiple draft selections. Columbus now puts themselves in the all in corner. As they have Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Duchene who are going to be free-agents and all expecting well over 7 million a year the Blue Jackets will not be able to afford all three of these players. Only one of them will re-sign, hopefully.

With this addition of Duchene the Blue Jackets line are projected to look like: 

  1. Panarin-Luc-Dubois-Atkinson
  2. Foligno-Duchene-Anderson
  3. Jenner-Wennberg-Bjorkstrand
  4. Robinson-Dubinsky-Nash

It is certainly an upgrade but does this top-six make them potential cup contenders though? They still have to get through Tampa Bay, Toronto, Boston, Washington, Islanders to get a chance at the Stanley Cup and we can all sit here and argue that the Leafs, Bruins, Lightning and Islanders top-six is just as good if not better.

This was an excepted landing spot for Duchene. But, with this trade now per say Panarin walks and Bobrovsky is traded or walks, the Blue Jackets would be able to sign Duchene back. That is my prediction, Panarin walks and so does Bob and Duchene re-signs in Columbus at end of season.

 

 

Winnipeg Jets Lose 7-1 To Colorado… Is The Case For Matt Duchene Becoming Stronger?

The Winnipeg Jets got beat up pretty badly Wednesday night vs Colorado. The first period went pretty smoothly, both teams exchanged some chances the Avalanche definitely out-chanced and out played the Jets in the first but from their on it was all Avalanche.

The Avalanche played a very quick transition game, worked well down low and all four lines were clicking. The recipe to beat the Jets seems to be a quicker game than they play, don’t allow them to get second chances, move the puck up the ice quickly and score the first goal. The Jets have been in a little bit of a rut. The Jets still sit a top the Central division, separating themselves from Nashville by one point and St. Louis by six points. The Jets though in nine February games have lost six of their eight games, two coming in overtime therefore they pick up two points and have only won four of their eight games.

The concern is not about the Jets ability to make playoffs obviously it seems the concern is their ability to get into the playoffs and make a run. The Jets were bounced in the Conference Finals last season vs the Golden Knights. Their window seems to be getting smaller as the years go and some their back end ages, are free agents at the end of the season or the concern of cap issues. The Jets have scored 12 goals in their last five games (2.4 goals per game), have allowed 19 goals in those five games (3.8 goals per game). Something we usually never see from Winnipeg is a lack of offense and a poor defensive game.

Granted the Jets are missing a few pieces on their back end right now with Dustin Byfuglien being out and Joe Morrow as well but their defensive issues from last night’s game seem to be from their front end as well. They back checked terribly and in front their own net their defenseman and centers were puck watching a lot. As well it does not help that Nikolaj Ehlers is out still and Patrik Laine is on a 15-game goal-less drought and two goals in his last 28 games but Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor have a combined 5 goals and 6 assists in their last five games. Wheeler and Scheifele are both point less in their last three game.

Here are some glaring mistakes from the Jets 7-1 loss to Colorado Wednesday night. I’d like to make aware of how Patrik Laine being scoreless in 15-games straight shows zero effort in this back check that leads to a Colorado goal. And Mark Schefiele seems to be not hustling back either on the 2-vs-1 goal as well as the terrible in front of net coverage on the final goal. Two guys can’t tie up one guy to keep him from scoring.

With the Jets loss to Colorado and lack of offense in their last five games and 45 goals in their last 15 games, and now if we take out the 9 goals they score vs Anaheim, their 36 goals in 14 games and 2.5 goals for over that span is a glaring issue. With that said, are the Jets heavy favorites and or considering Matt Duchene even more now? Their offense seems to be struggling. Even in that 7-1 loss to Colorado they got outshot 46-27 another issue. The Jets have been outshot numerous times now over the last week plus. They were outshot 41-28 vs Ottawa, outshot 35-26 vs Colorado (Feb. 14), outshot 37-36 vs Rangers (Feb. 12), outshot 26-29 vs Buffalo (Feb.10) there seems to be some issues on the offensive side of things for Winnipeg and it only makes sense that will be heavy favorites for Duchene amongst these issues.

NHL Trade Deadline: Conversations About Matt Duchene’s And Michael Ferland’s Future

The trade deadline is about a week away and there has really not been much buzz about what players are going to be moved. We heard so much about certain players like Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk, etc. But, as we hit the one-week mark it seems a lot has gone radio silence. Well, silence for us, the fans.

Anyways, the biggest player we have had our eye on all season is Matt Duchene. What is his future in Ottawa and what is he going to do. Well, after monitoring the situation, reading up on the player and his agent and more information. It seems Duchene is almost a lock to be moved at the trade deadline. It is unlikely he will sign with Ottawa but it is also not out of question it juts seems as if a trade is more likely.

Where can Duchene land? Well, that is unknown. There are a few teams who can add him as a rental player or a team that can add him and sign him for a long term extension if moved. Duchene could be moved to Winnipeg or Columbus but if he is moved to one of these two teams he will probably test the free agency market come July 2019. Deeming Duchene a rental for these two teams due to Winnipeg’s cap space and Columbus’s uncertainty with Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin. If he is moved to a Nashville, Islanders, Panthers or Vegas team they can be a team that signs him for a longer extension if he is moved there.

The Islanders have around 10 million in cap space and have a few RFA’s to re-sign and it would be a very tight squeeze to add Duchene, but that is not to say this is not a possible landing spot. Vegas has the same situation but a lot less in cap space but also a lot of RFA and UFA’s on the move that they can option to not re-sign and free up space. Panthers make for an interesting situation due to their very little cap space but 3-4 players worth 2.5 million or more on the move it can be a possibility. Nashville is a probable destination for Duchene due to their contention spot right now, their window seems to be closing more and more each year so they could be looking to make a push. Either way the Senators and Duchene seem to be on the agreement to part ways and explore Duchene’s future elsewhere.

Michael Ferland Trade Rumors
Michael Ferland continues to help Hurricanes make playoff push as trade deadline nears.

Michael Ferland is an interesting case, he was rumored to be on the block for the Hurricanes about two-weeks ago, but now as the Canes are making a little playoff push and are one point out of contention they may have pulled the brakes on this move. It is not to say that the Canes are not willing to still move Ferland but it seems a lot of talks have slowed down.

As of now we are excepting Ferland to test the free agency market come July 2019 and it seems that is what he wants to do as well. Ferland is coming off a $1.75 million cap hit right now he has 33 points in 50 games (16G, 17A) on pace for back to back 40+ point seasons. Ferland will probably be looking at a 3-4 year contract extension around the 4.5 million AAV value, possibly more.  Which if so the Hurricanes may be able to afford once they come to agreement with Sebastian Aho and Brock McGinn, therefore Ferland even though he is going to test the market could end up back in Carolina.

Ottawa Senators Actively Shopping Matt Duchene & Make Last Push To Sign Back Mark Stone

The Ottawa Senators cap concerns are here, and the Senators management need to deal with them as soon as possible. They have about a week to move either Duchene or Stone. And as reports form Pierre Lebrun report the Senators are most likely moving on from Duchene and trying to sign back Stone.

The news has been out regarding Duchene for nearly the full season we all knew he was on the move but we also thought their was a chance for him to re-sign in Ottawa. The Senators have now begun to really shop Duchene though. Some teams interested in him have been Winnipeg, Columbus, Nashville as of late. I would predict Duchene goes to a contender and a possible Stanley Cup team but as of now. Teams have just being inquiring about the superstar forward.

As far as Stone goes the news that the Senators are making one last big push for the forward is concerning. Stone seems like he wants to get paid and receive a long term deal therefore if the Senators are not offering that he is going to move on. What I do wonder is what the Senators offers have been that Stone has turned down? If Stone is on the fence between leaving and staying and has already been offered something an turned it down. I am a concerned Senators fans. The whole notion between “making one last push” clearly means that Stone is thinking about going elsewhere…

 

The Ottawa Senators Should DEFINITELY Sign Mark Stone Over Matt Duchene

This a major issue for Ottawa right now. Duchene or Stone? Stone is 26-years-old, an elite scoring winger, perhaps not a franchise level talent but he ranks among the top-20 for players 26-years-old or younger. Duchene is 28-years-old and again an elite forward, can we say franchise talent, sure but he is 28-years-old now so I do not know if I am building a franchise around him right now.

Duchene has played 697 games in the NHL collecting a respectable 525 points (222G, 303A), a 0.75 point per game player in his career. Not too shabby. On the year he has 48 points in 41 games (21G, 27A), has recorded six 50+ point seasons in his career and is a player that skates extremely well, can score goals and play with just about anyone. He is playing Bobby Ryan and Ryan Dzingel and producing quite well.

Stone has played 359 NHL games recording a very respectable 300 career NHL points (117G, 183A), a 0.83 point per game player. On the year Stone has 51 points in 52 games (22G, 29A). Over his career he has recorded over 50 points every year he has been in the NHL despite 2012-13 when he played 4 games and 2013-14 when he played 19 games (in which he had 8 points). Stone is playing with two very young players this year Colin White and Brady Tkachuk and at almost a point per game (0.98).

In my opinion the Senators should move on from Matt Duchene for two reasons, for Duchene to stay they are going to need to over pay him a ton, he is going to ask for 10.5-11 million dollars a year and while Duchene is good he is not worth that money. Reason two, while he seems to be fitting in well with Ottawa right now, when he gets his contract, signs and gets comfortable there, he may not be the same player. Players always play well going into a contract year or on the verge of free agency. He is clearly not a great team/locker room guy with the incident in Ottawa this year in Colorado two years ago. I think Stone fits the Senators way better than Duchene, Stone was drafted in Ottawa has made a name for himself in Ottawa, has a history here, you know what you are going to get from him, his teammates love him and overall Stone just seems like a more secure and suitable option for Ottawa.

As well Stone will probably cost around 7.5-8.5, comparable to a Ryan O’Reilly player who is on a sheet of 7.5 million a year. Stone may cost a little more than O’Reilly per say just because Stone would be their guy and Ottawa is not in a great situation therefore throw him an extra 1-1.5 million a year just because it may not be too great for the first 3-4 years of his contract. Duchene is going to ask for 10+ million for five to six years, money wise, Stone will be cheaper and looking at their career numbers and what they bring to the table it is not like Duchene is head over heels a better player than Stone.

Keep Stone in Ottawa, get a ton of assets for Duchene and move on. With Duchene’s last statement regarding his contract extension talk.

“If I had a gut feeling I’d probably go with it right now but at this point we’re not at that point.” Duchene said after speaking about his contract extension.

This quote alone would make me want to not sign Duchene. What does this even mean? He is just delaying the inevitable of alluding to the fact that he is not going to re-sign in Ottawa. I feel as if Ottawa and Duchene’s agent are way off and it would make no sense to try and work out a deal when you can save the money and get a ton of assets for Duchene.